What’s up everybody. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA picks for December 14th, 2017. Thursday night’s slate is a smaller slate of only five games. Be sure to follow all of the injury news tonight, all the way up until the 7:30PM EST lock, to see if any new injury news comes up. As always if any of these picks help you win or if you need any advice, let me know on Twitter. @Hunta512.
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C: Karl-Anthony Towns: (9,100) Just like I discussed with Jimmy Butler on Tuesday, Wolves Head Coach Tom Thibodeau has been playing his starters very high minutes lately and Towns is now averaging 40 regulation minutes over his last three starts. As expected, the minutes have turned into great numbers, with him averaging 55 DK points in these contests. At his current $9,100 price tag he needs to score 45.5 DK points to meet value, which is something I am definitely expecting from him tonight vs this a very soft Kings’ interior defense. Even with center Willie Cauley-Stein back, The Kings elected to stay small, with Zach Randolph at the five spot in their last game.
No disrespect to Zbo, but at his age he is no match for Towns, and in 35-40 minutes, Kat should top 50 DK points vs this defense that is currently is sitting at a higher opponent +/- 5.01 points. On top of the excellent matchup, this game will be played at home in Minnesota, which is something that is always worth noting with Towns. Over his career he has notoriously had large home and away splits, and this season is no different, with him averaging 7.6 more DK points at home this year. With a projection of 50 DK points, which is a tentative projection for the way he has been playing, Towns is easily one of the best values of Thursday night, and is a nice complement play to Kevin Durant who is my preferred stud to build around this evening.
SF/PF: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson: (6,100) Hollis-Jefferson’s price tag has gone up $300 since his last game, but he still remains underpriced at only $6,100. Over his last four games he is averaging 34 DK points and 34 minutes a game. With PF Trevor Booker traded to The Sixers and newly acquired center Jahill Okafor not yet into this rotation because he needs to “earn” his minutes, Hollis-Jefferson should approach 30 minutes again tonight, as The Nets’ starting PF. He will be facing off against The Knicks are in arguably the best game of the night to target, with its O/U game total of 213 points, and tight spread of 1.5 points, which is a rarity in this slate, as three of these five games have double digit spreads. It’s tough to say if he will matchup with Knicks starting PF Kristaps Porzingis, but either way this matchup is a positive one, with The Knicks currently presenting an opponent +/- of 1.33 points to opposing starting PFs.
He is basically scoring 1.0 DK points per minute right now and in a projection of 30 minutes, I think we see Hollis-Jefferson score 30+ DK points, especially with this game being played at home, where he is scoring a notable 5.0 more DK points a game compared to when he is competing on the road. He is one of the better mid-tier targets of the night that is a viable option in all formats. Lastly, if SG Allen Crabbe is out (questionable,neck), RHJ would see a nice boost, as he is seeing in 1.7% usage bump in the minutes he has seen without Booker, PG D’Angelo Russell (knee), PG Jeremy Lin (knee), and Crabbe this season.
SG/SF: Andre Iguodala: (4,200) In these last three games without starting PG Steph Curry (ankle), Iguodala has been one of the primary ball handlers along with SF Kevin Durant for The Warriors, averaging 30 minutes a game along with a 15.6% usage rate, which is a 4.3% increase from his average usage this season. He had one down game in these three (11.75 DK points vs DET), but he is still averaging 22 DK points in this span, which is just over five times value for him at this current $4,200 salary. It isn’t anything crazy, but he is scoring 0.75 DK points in the minutes he has logged without Curry, PF Draymond Green (shoulder), and center Zaza Pachulia (shoulder) this year, and in this 30 minute role that should continue tonight, Igu should put up 20-25 DK points in this average spot vs The Mavs. (0.53 opponent +/-)
He lacks serious upside, but the veteran’s role is larger right now, and no matter the matchup, he should be able to fill up the stat sheet with this team relying on him more right now. The 11 point spread in favorite of The Warriors isn’t ideal, but at this low price, Iguodala seems like a necessary play in cash games for this five game slate.
PF/C: Jordan Bell: (3,600) On Monday night, with both starters, PF Draymond Green (shoulder) and center Zaza Pachulia (shoulder) out, rookie Jordan Bell drew the start at center and was very productive, scoring 24.5 DK points across 26 minutes in the win over The Blazers. This was the first game that all of Curry, Pachulia, and Green missed, but in the three full games that Green has missed this year, Bell is averaging 25.42 DK points and 24.2 minutes per game. All three of these starters are expected to be out again tonight, with Curry already confirmed out, and the two big men listed as doubtful due to their shoulder injuries.
This should keep Bell as a starter and in the 106 minutes he has played with out these three teammates, he is scoring 1.14 DK points per minute. His playing time won’t be very high, but he should once again see 20-25 minutes, which is plenty of time for him to out produce his salary in this solid matchup vs The Mavs. (2.24 opponent +/-) His price hasn’t budged since his great game Monday and at this soft price tag, Bell is a core value play for me on Thursday night. Update: Both Green and Pachulia have been ruled out. Bell is a must play in all formats.
Also Consider: Yogi Ferrell (price is going up, but he is averaging 28 DK points and 34 minutes as the starter with Smith Jr. out. DSJ will remain out and Ferrell should return value again, barring a massive blowout), J.J. Barea (Yogi is the better value at the cheaper price, but Barea is still very much in play), Omri Casspi (27.25 DK points in 25 minutes last game with Pachulia and Green out, should see similar playing time with The Warriors opting to smaller lineups again), Wesley Matthews, Julius Randle, Allen Crabbe (if he plays), Spencer Dinwiddie (nice value that would be even better if Crabbe was out. Just like RHJ, he sees a 1.7% usage increase in this situation), Frank Mason, Jarrett Jack (minutes aren’t as high as I would like, but he is scoring 26 DK points over his last two starts and this matchup is excellent vs The Nets who are the third fastest team in the league), Jahill Okafor (only if we get any indication he will actually play, if he somehow was listed as the starter, which will eventually happen at some point, he would be worth a look at only $4,000), and Jordan Clarkson.